Be on the lookout for a full waiver-wire column from the SI Fantasy team each week. Every Sunday night, however, I will take an early look at a few options that could help you in the upcoming week or on a rest-of-season basis.
[Note: All players referenced in this post are available in more than half of Yahoo! leagues as their ownership levels are all below 50 percent. All references are based on half-PPR scoring.]
Here are a few waiver-wire options to consider heading into Week 13 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):
Patrick Laird, RB, Miami Dolphins (20% owned)
Given the turnover and injuries to its backfield, Miami has turned to Laird as the team’s lead back. While the Dolphins have one of the league’s worst offensive lines and rosters overall, Laird’s workload (19 touches) on Sunday, his involvement in the passing game and the upcoming schedule all lead to optimism going forward.
Laird carried the ball 15 times for 48 yards (only 3.2 YPC) and added four receptions for 38 yards. The undrafted rookie now has at least four catches, five targets and 38-plus receiving yards in back-to-back games and in three of his past four.
With the Giants (2-10) and Bengals (1-12) on the schedule, negative game script shouldn’t adversely impact Laird, even though his role as a receiver helps his cause.
Ryan Tannehill, QB, Tennessee Titans (47% owned)
Tannehill threw for a season-high 391 yards and three touchdowns against the Raiders on Sunday. Despite the team’s run-first approach, Tannehill now has thrown multiple passing touchdowns in four consecutive games and five of his past seven.
Volume remains a potential concern, as Tannehill has thrown 19, 18, 22 and 27 pass attempts in his last four contests, respectively. That said, he is a viable streaming option once again as he gets a favorable matchup in Week 15 (and again in Week 17) against the Texans, who have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks entering this week’s games.
A.J. Brown, WR, Tennessee Titans (24% owned)
As noted above, the concern with Brown, Tannehill or anyone tied to Tennessee’s passing attack is volume. Even so, the rookie from Ole Miss had five catches for 153 yards and two scores in Sunday’s win over Oakland. Over the past three weeks, Brown has two games with 135-plus yards and a score (or two). Like Tannehill, Brown gets a favorable matchup against a Texans secondary that has surrendered the 12th-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season.
Zach Pascal, WR, Indianapolis Colts (35% owned)
Targeted nine times on Sunday, Pascal hauled in five receptions for 74 yards and a touchdown and added a two-point conversion. Targeted 10 times the week before, Pascal finished Week 13 with seven catches for 109 yards.
With T.Y. Hilton out, Pascal is the Colts' receiver to own, but he also has a relatively low floor despite productive outings in back-to-back weeks. In his 10 most recent outings, he has 70-plus yards in five games and 17 or fewer yards in four games. That said, the Colts could be forced to throw often to keep up with the Saints next week.
Adrian Peterson, RB, Washington Redskins (39% owned)
If it weren’t for bad luck, it seems that Guice would have none. Per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, it is the “preliminary belief” that Guice suffered an MCL sprain in Sunday’s loss to Green Bay.
With Guice exiting in the first half, Adrian Peterson finished the day with 20 carries for 76 yards and a touchdown. Peterson had 13 carries for 99 yards and a touchdown in Week 13 against the Panthers.
At this point, it would make sense for Washington to shut Guice down the rest of the way. While Peterson has an unfavorable matchup next week against the Eagles, things will get much better for Fantasy Championship Week against the Giants for those looking ahead.
Kevin Hanson joins SI for the 2019 season. His fantasy rankings have placed him in the Top 20 in each of the past two seasons among all the industry experts tracked by FantasyPros.com, and he has been in the Top 25 in six of the past eight years.